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Ad campaign brings out island’s ‘swagger and sophistication’

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Daren Bascome (Photograph by John Davenport, courtesy Proverb)

Bermuda has suffered an “identity crisis“ when attracting tourists to the island, according to one industry head.

Jamari Douglas, the vice-president of marketing and communications at the Bermuda Tourism Authority, was quoted in an article in the Boston Globe newspaper last week.

In the article, Mr Douglas said: “People have an awareness issue about Bermuda. We’re grouped in with all the Caribbean islands, but that’s not what we are. Yes, most of us here have Caribbean and African roots, and then we’re a British territory, but we’re closer to the US than the UK. We’re a subtropical island in the North Atlantic.”

Jamari Douglas (Photograph supplied)

The article went on to feature the work of Boston-based marketing firm Proverb, which was drafted in by the BTA last year to boost awareness of the island and give it an image makeover.

Bermudian Daren Bascome, the founder and chief executive officer of Proverb, told the newspaper that Bermuda had fewer “beach days” than competitors, but had much more to offer.

Mr Bascome said: “What Bermuda has is an experience that doesn’t just need to be confined to the edges of the island.”

Teamwork: Daren Bascome, left, of marketing firm Proverb, with Jamari Douglas of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (Photograph supplied)

Mr Bascome said that while Bermuda’s image had traditionally been associated with genteel pastimes and pink beaches, his company had worked to expand the island’s appeal.

He said: “There’s an identity associated with the island that centres on country clubs, rum swizzle, and pink beaches.

“That imagery has been in the market for a hundred years and it’s all completely true. What we’ve tried to do is round it out. There’s a swagger and sophistication that Bermuda hasn’t historically promoted.

“Our first official tourist arrived in 1883, and since then, Bermuda has had an image shaped by others.”

Mr Bascome said that the latest “Lost Yet Found” advertising campaign “leans into a certain mystery around the island that we wanted to embrace”.

He said: “You can roam freely but there’s a real community there to receive you. We even wanted to utilise something like the mysteriousness of the [Bermuda] Triangle, which had previously been avoided at all costs.”

The article pointed out that Mr Bascome had adopted a similar tactic when Proverb was commissioned to rebrand Boston in 2020.

“He didn’t ignore some of the city’s traditional imagery, but he also wanted to move away from tricorn hats and the Dropkick Murphys,” reporter Jonathan Wiggs wrote.

The article conclude with Mr Bascome describing the impact that travel had had on his own life.

He said: “I’ve gotten so much out of travel and international travel in particular.

“I think it’s probably had as big of an impact on my view of the world as my education or maybe even my parents.

“I believe that a large part of why people travel is to change themselves and how they see the world. I’m hoping by highlighting new perspectives on these two places we can be a part of that.”

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Published December 12, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated December 12, 2022 at 10:18 am)

Ad campaign brings out island’s ‘swagger and sophistication’

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